It is not a nice day out there. Snow is flying past the study window and I am sitting at the keyboard with my new Salomon boots on – making sure they fit properly before I take them out for their first walk outdoors.
It was 10 years ago when I began my travels into the Scottish Hills. A chance discussion with a dog walking buddy set me off on what was has become a seemingly never ending voyage over our incredibly varied landscape. I may take a wee break from time to time but something always drags me back to the wilder places. As I contemplate my return to the hills it would seem that history is in the process of repeating itself – even when it comes to hillwalking.
Maisie, our black Lab of that time, was 3 years old when we took our first foray into the great wilds. Our day-to-day dog walking area in the grounds of a derelict mental hospital was only 100m from the house but after 3 years of wandering around the same area I was chronically bored.
At the time I knew that, within a few months, we were to lose our “parkland” to new housing and the suggestion of hillwalking seemed a godsend of an idea. The builders built…and we left for the mountains.
Jumping forward to the present day; the “pups” are now 3 years old and it was only last week that we lost the final field of their play domain to the same house builders. That last boggy little rise was only some 200m long by 100m wide and was over 1km from the house – such has been the spread of new housing. The fields below are now a brown soggy mess.
Needless to say after 3 years of walking them round the same area I have become chronically bored. Once again I feel the need to take to the hills.
Now thinking forward – what makes this seemingly coincidental repetition exciting is the thought of what might lie ahead. The adventures from 2006 to early 2012 were incredible; the mountains we climbed and the people we met all combined to make it unforgettable. Given that I am 10 years older and possibly not quite in the same shape I was then (ahem!) I am well aware the experiences might not be quite so “dramatic” as in the past. Nonetheless as long as I remember that every day we step out the door is an adventure then there should always be a “Tail” to tell. 🙂